Are you prepared for what the online world has unofficially named the season of pumpkin spice everywhere? Interestingly enough, the flavor of pumpkin spice doesn’t usually have any pumpkin in it. However, it reminds individuals of autumn, falling leaves, and the warmth of home.
Additionally, it has become big business, creating a revenue of about half a billion dollars a year for business, which surpasses even seasonal traditions like apple cider.
So, if there’s no pumpkin in it, what’s really in pumpkin spice? Most pumpkin spices are simple blends of ginger, nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon, although other ingredients might be included. Pumpkin itself is sometimes incorporated, though this is usually done through extracts or tiny portions of the gourd.1
Adding Pumpkin Spice into Your Diet
The easiest way to start incorporating pumpkin spice into your diet is just by buying products contain pumpkin spice. Starbucks might be the most obvious place to start. Love it or hate it, their notorious pumpkin spice latte might be the culprit that begins the annual craze. They even sell pumpkin spice coffee beans now, including one bag you can use in your own Keurig.
You can also find pumpkin spice Life cereal, Werther’s candy, dog food or treats, and protein powders for the athletes in your life. Other store-bought possibilities include cookies, cakes, waffles, ice cream, gum, marshmallows, and even some beers. The uses of it as a flavoring agent are typically only bound by the imaginations or creativity of manufacturers and marketers.
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If you have a Trader Joe’s in your area, they’re one of the retailers with the greatest abundance of pumpkin spice options, letting you incorporate it into your diet through foods ranging from tortilla chips to cold-pressed juice and even mochi.
Of course, you don’t have to buy products with pumpkin spice in them to incorporate pumpkin spice into your diet. You can make your own in just a few minutes: gather three tablespoons of ground cinnamon, two teaspoons each of ground nutmeg and ginger, and one and a half teaspoons of ground cloves and allspice. Mix the spices together, and there you have it.2
You can then store your mix inside of a cleaned-out spice container or small jar for use throughout the season. If you really love pumpkin spice, you can even do this to enjoy the spice year-round as pumpkin spice products usually don’t come out until the end of summer.
If you want to use pumpkin spice in baking, try making pumpkin pie, morning glory muffin squares, caramel-spice French breakfast muffins, or squash blossoms. If baking isn’t your thing or you aren’t sure what recipes to use, you can also use pumpkin spice in oatmeal, yogurt, and even your cup of hot tea for some seasonal flavor.
Although retail versions of pumpkin spice might occasionally be organic or non-GMO, be sure to check labels and research each product. Often, making your own is often going to be healthier, letting you skip preservatives and artificial ingredients. Additionally, many retail canisters of pumpkin spice contain high levels of sugar or corn syrup, as well as food dyes.
Making your own pumpkin spice products can also save money. Market analysis of brands offering pumpkin spice items shows that food products containing pumpkin spice are sometimes more than double the price of their non-spiced counterparts. For example, one Trader Joe’s was noted for charging three dollars for 21.1 ounces of pumpkin pancake and waffle mix, whereas 32 ounces of regular buttermilk pancake and waffle mix was a dollar cheaper.
Health Benefits of Pumpkin Spice
Whether you buy it from the store or make your own, pumpkin spice does have some health benefits. Many manufacturers are smart enough to promote specific health benefits in addition to the flavor. Many start off with cinnamon, which can act as a blood sugar stabilizer in the season of sweets, from Halloween candy to Thanksgiving pies to Christmas treats.
The wait for pumpkin spice products is over—with fall drawing closer, most stores have started stocking an abundance of pumpkin spice products, in addition to ingredients to help you make your own creations. Try some of them out and find new ways to incorporate pumpkin spice into your fall diet. Check out the MONQ shop to try our Pumpkin Spice blend, a delicious mix of spices that will add a little extra spice into your Fall experience!
Photo Credits: ElenaVeselova/shutterstock.com, JuliaSudnitskaya/shutterstock.com, BolyukRostyslav/shutterstock.com, BoiarkinaMarina/shutterstock.com